On the last day of 2012, I went for a walk around Salford Quays. This is an interesting area to visit, since it changes quite rapidly. For the last ten years or so, it has been subject to extensive re-development, from a run-down area of old docks to its present form as the home of the Lowry Centre and the BBC’s new studios at Media City UK.
On the day I went, the weather varied from rotten to foul, but I quite like it like that. There’s a lovely flatness to the light that I find more appealing than harsh direct sunlight. You can also get some fairly dramatic skies and, on the odd occasion when the sun peeps through, the effect can be quite stunning (see the featured image above).
So, armed with my D800 and trusty 50mm f/1.8, I braved the lowering skies and wandered around. There were a few other hardy souls out and about: not so many as to get in the way, but enough to remind us that the built environment is about people, and without them it becomes very sterile.
I decided to concentrate on the two footbridges: the Millennium bridge that’s been around since 2000, and the new Media City footbridge that’s only been open for a year or so. The new footbridge is weird: as you approach, it’s very difficult to work out the orientation of the cables. It makes a sort of optical illusion where they appear to be oriented one way at the top, but a different way at the bottom. On closer inspection, it all becomes apparent, but it’s quite disconcerting for a while.